{creating dreams come true} creative brainstorm

it’s sunday – which means it’s creating dreams come true day. creating dreams come true is a free ongoing e-course and creative community to support you in living your dreams. if you are new, please feel free to join in. the more creative dreamers the better!

let's cheer each other on!

let's cheer each other on!

last week we had our creative dream spring check-up.  this week i want to provide space here for all of you to share what we found in our check-ups and to ask for support, encouragement and ideas where needed.  we’re going to have a creative brainstorm.

i first learned about the power of creative brainstorming when i read the book wishcraft about thirteen years ago.  in it, barbara sher speaks about getting together with others, sharing your ideas and your problems and gathering inspiration and resources from the group to move forward with your dreams.

the creative brainstorming process is so beautifully powerful.  others can help us dig out shortcuts or discover hidden secret paths to our dreams.  it’s not that we’re not smart enough to do it on our own.  we absolutely are.  but since every person has a unique perspective, other people can see things about your dreams that you can’t see.  gathering their perspectives and ideas helps you build a stronger path to your dream.

i will admit i’ve never attempted to do a creative brainstorm in a blog post before.  but we’ve got a fantastic group of creative dreamers here and i just know we can pull this off.

the creative brainstorm:

either in a post on your own blog (and give us a link to it in the comments below), or in the comments section below, share how you did with your creative dream check-in. ( for reference, the check-up questions are available as a downloadable worksheet in the creative dream spring check-up post.) if you didn’t do the check-in, just share where you’re at.  and let us know where you would like to do some creative brainstorming.  where do you need support?  where could you use a new idea?  what feels difficult for you right now?  let us know where you are looking for inspiration, ideas, support and resources.  make sure you give us enough information that we can be helpful.

don’t forget to read the other comments and add your creative ideas, resources and suggestions.  if you can, please check back throughout the week as not everyone posts their updates immediately.

when receiving ideas, do remember that these are *your* dreams and your decisions.  if something feels wrong for you, don’t act on it.  but do be open to considering other people’s ideas and perhaps they will spark new ideas of your own.

when giving ideas, do remember that we don’t want to tell other people what to do, we simply want to offer our ideas and encouragement.  remember that the person has the right to not use your particular idea.  this doesn’t make your idea wrong, it’s only not quite right for that person, at that time.

don’t be shy about sharing ideas, no matter how silly, odd or outrageous they may seem.  the purpose of a brainstorm is to gather lots and lots of creative energy and ideas.  by sharing the really outrageous ideas, they can spark other ideas that will be workable.  we never know what will inspire what – so share everything.

let the creative brainstorm begin!

roller derby: ready, set go!

ready, set, go!

not that we’re racing against each other, of course.  we are all on the same team here.  i just wanted to share some pics from the roller derby i went to last weekend.  let’s bring this kind of enthusiasm, strength and power to making our dreams real.

we are strong. nothing can get in our way

we are strong. nothing can get in our way

ps – i want to let you guys know that this week i will be making a super special offer to the people on my creative adventure mailing list.  so special that i cannot offer it on my blog, i can only do it for a limited number of people.  so if you are interested in unleashing your creative magic you may want to join the list before tuesday.


andrea schroeder creates creativity workshops, downloadable creativity kits, art and guided meditations to support you in knowing and remembering that you are a creative being and you can create anything.


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Dixie-Ann Belle, ABCcreativity. ABCcreativity said: join the creative brainstorm session! http://bit.ly/a6ay0c let's work together and make all of our dreams come true […]

  2. creativedreamincubator on May 2, 2010 at 10:14 am

    my creative brainstorm: i am steadily working on my creative with money creativity kit. the more i work on it, the better it gets, and the bigger it gets. i am thinking it will end up being an e-course as there is just too much information (and ideas, exercises and games) to cram it all into one kit. what i’d like to brainstorm on: how do i get the word out about it? i’d love to hear all of your ideas!

  3. Meg G on May 2, 2010 at 10:28 am

    Well, there’s facebook and twitter, obviously. And Youtube…you can do big things with Youtube videos. And either guest posting on peoples’ blogs or asking them to write about it (like, you could do a free sample preview release thingy of the kit to prominent “creative living” bloggers and ask them to review the kit….and to include info about the upcoming ecourse in their review…I don’t know Thing One about blog etiquette, but it sounds feasible to me)

    My brainstorm is actually kind of related, Andrea: I’ve cleared a room in my house for dancing and hope to offer some dance classes in the evenings and on Saturdays (not typical ballet/modern/jazz classes…creative dancing and joyful expression classes. SO fun). Now, I did this a couple of years ago (only in rented space, not a house), and I wasted a LOT of money on advertising in a local newspaper and on the Dance Nova Scotia website, neither of which brought in a single student. So I guess the brainstorm is how do I get the word out about classes without spending mucho $$ -or preferably ANY money? The big difference between yours and mine is that mine is limited by geographic location, whereas you have the entire internet to play with.

  4. Meg G on May 2, 2010 at 10:29 am

    LOL. I was so into brainstorming that I forgot my initial reaction to your progress report, which was “YAY!! Cool!! Can’t wait to hear more!”

  5. creativedreamincubator on May 2, 2010 at 11:01 am

    thanks meg!! i am really happy with my progress too. i tend to want to wait until i have huge chunks of time to work on something – but then those big chunks of time become intimidating. so now, i’m carving out one hour per day to work on it, taking smaller steps at a time, and finding they really do add up to some big progress!

    i love your suggestions thank you!!!

    i did start my workshops in person only. i own a duplex, and used the other suite to do workshops in. (i now do them in other spaces and rent that suite out to a really lovely couple who are having a baby next month!) i also found advertisements not the best way to go. are you a part of the local creative dance community? building on your current relationships is key, i think. you could do “bring a friend and you get in free” offers to get new people in the door. i also researched email addresses for any and every organisation that may want to put my workshops on or would have people in them that would be interested in my work. i offered to do free workshops for charitable organisations which really helped to spread the word. a lot of the organisations i contacted in the beginning did not get back to me at the time – but then a few years later when they had something that my work was a fit for – they called me. so an introductory email to let people know about what you do is awesome. you could also look at partnering with yoga teachers or creativity coaches or other new age-y places in your area? i also would print flyers and put them anywhere and everywhere i could think of.

  6. creativedreamincubator on May 2, 2010 at 11:04 am

    also, i go to a monthly dance workshop called dance your prayers that may be similar to what you do: http://www.souls-journey.com/workshops_danceyourprayers.html i love the woman who puts them on here, i think they are amazing and powerful and everyone should go to them regularly!

  7. AscenderRisesAbove on May 2, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    awww that we all had cheerleaders!

  8. Lee Ann on May 2, 2010 at 8:47 pm


    I haven’t officially filled out the checkup questions yet…but I’ve been keeping them on my brain all week. I’ve been feeling stuck this week. I was SUPER bored at work all week…and only felt engaged with what I was doing when I was putting my stuff together for the art show. I also was feeling stuck with my financial issues…like I wished I could be paying off my debt faster AND loving my work. The city is draining me and I wanted to cry a few times over it. But when I step back I know I am closer to my dreams every week. My credit card debt is lower than it has been in years, and my savings account is increasing (though slowly). I e-mailed a lawyer about dual citizenship…and I had a really great talk with a friend about our dreams to quit our jobs and go away. We were talking about maybe applying for a grant?

    I suppose I need help with keeping my spirits up? I know I need the time here to prepare in more ways than just financially. I need to de-clutter (which I started today by cleaning my whole kitchen and getting rid of a ton of stuff). Or I need a new creative and inspiring job :) And to move out of the city as soon as an opportunity arises. The whole grant thing is new to me as well…not sure how to go about it.

    I also would love a business partner to help me flesh all my creative ideas and turn them into business ventures. That is where I fall short. I need help clarifying my ideas.

  9. creativedreamincubator on May 3, 2010 at 6:09 am

    ascender yes we really do all have cheerleaders!

    lee ann what you said here “But when I step back I know I am closer to my dreams every week” makes me wonder – if you were actuallyy tracking your progress would it help you to keep your spirits up? like make a chart that shows your debt going down and your savings going up. even make a map with nyc and scotland on it and write “i am getting closer every day” just to remind you. it sounds like you are taking loads of steps but it just gets overwhelming sometimes.

    to flesh out creative ideas and turn them into business ventures – have you thought about a business coach? there are amazing ones out there that can help with this and then you’re still free to do the business your way without a partner. also loads of coaches have blogs filled with great information so you can pick tips up and start applying them on your own. or advertise on craigslist or something for a business partner? could be that there is a business-minded person near you who’d love to partner with a creative spirit to get something new happening.

    i think an online search would help with the grants too. if the application is online you can get the info you need there.

  10. Meg G on May 3, 2010 at 8:21 am

    Oooh! Thank you for the suggestions, Andrea! They’re exactly what I need! Now I just need to work with all the resistance they brought up :-P I really haven’t been in the community much since I had Xander (almost two years ago! WOW!!! That went fast). I think reaching out and rejoining may be a first step I need to take.

    The website you posted is amazing! My classes tend to be a little more “led” than that seems to be, but they certainly have the same goals in mind, and I would love to do something similar. There is a group called Barefoot Ecstatic Dance that meets monthly already…maybe I should start going to them now that Xander’s older and not so Mummy-oriented. Gabrielle Roth wrote a beautiful book called “Sweat Your Prayers” about dance as a spiritual practice, and it changed my life. I need to reread it and get inspired!

    LeeAnn, I read your blog post and it helped me a lot…I love the quotes you wrote about! They were exactly what I needed to hear right now. It’s so hard to remember not to push (and push and push) but just to relax and let go. When I did my dance business the first time I definitely didn’t manage to do that. Now that I’m trying to begin again I keep finding myself caught up in worry and “NOWNOWNOW” and not being me. So hard to let go of. I think that it sounds like you are moving yourself out of your stucknesses. Decluttering is such a wonderful way to do that (come to think of it, *I* should try that!). I don’t have any other suggestions, but I think that Andrea gave you some great ones, and I think that you have a lot of inner wisdom that is coming out on its own!

  11. creativedreamincubator on May 3, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    meg i just love all those different kinds of dance groups and am excited to see what you do with your group! sending much strength and resilience for moving through resistance. i find sitting with it and listening for the messages it carries can be really useful. sometimes listening to the resistance can have wisdom in it – i know i also want everything nownownownow but slowing down can be so healthy.

  12. Lee Ann on May 3, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    Thanks Andrea! I think I need to step back and keep better track of my progress…yes. I do tend to get overwhelmed. I’m not sure about the business coach right now…mostly because I don’t have extra money right now. But maybe I’ll research it….Ideally I want someone else to make all the phone calls and take care of the business side. :)

    My biggest concern right now is how I’m going to make it through my remaining time in New York. Every day it feels harder and harder. Funny how the things that are most important to me aren’t what’s paying the bills and so get less of my time. I really hope to flip that around.

    Meg…I’m so glad my blog helped you :) Maybe I should go back and read what I wrote! LOL. Some days I go back and read them, actually…to remind myself of all the lessons I’ve been learning. I started de-cluttering. The next step is to physically take the collected clothes and videos etc down to the basement/trash…it’s still in my apt! I want to write a “Spring Cleaning” blog next. I found pulling out the table and cleaning behind everything an interesting metaphor for my life right now. How cleaning the little things and un-seen dirt helps. Sort like the idea that things are happening behind the scenes to help move me forward even if they aren’t obvious to me right now.

  13. […] that’s what’s what. This actually goes along with a post by Andrea Shroeder. So this is my response to her blog […]

  14. creativedreamincubator on May 4, 2010 at 11:33 am

    lee ann i see you finding the perfect business partner which will help make your remaining time in new york more fun and help you to pay of debt faster!

  15. Helen Carmichael on May 4, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    I think on reflection I AM moving closer to my dreams…in my heart/feelings where I am feels good. I am writing an (unpaid) article about the poetry reading that inspired me so much for a UK magazine. I just completed my 2nd half marathon and raised over $1700 for Leukemia research, and I loved the event itself. I’ve met more and more inspired and inspiring people through doing that event, I now realise. And these are friends beyond the ‘parents of my kids’ friends’ category – I love to meet all kinds of people so this is great for me.

    Yet financially my ‘regular’ writing work seems to have halted and I’m not making any money. I think the issue may simply be that I feel I ‘should’ be doing it but I really don’t want to. I am more inspired by the ‘dream’ areas that at present don’t make me any money.

    I am working with the idea that things and people lead onto other things and people and that now is not the time to drop the dreams…

  16. creativedreamincubator on May 4, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    sometimes moving closer to the dream means that things feel/look like they are falling apart as everything that’s in the way of the dream has to go away to make space for the dream. maybe you need to have no paying “work” writing gigs in order to create space for new paid “dream” gigs.

    i’m sure now is never the time to drop any dreams!

    is there any brainstorming of ideas you would like to do for ways to step more fully into the dreams?

  17. Helen Carmichael on May 4, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    Thanks Andrea –
    I would be interested to hear any thoughts on a radical change of direction within a given field. So my field is writing usually very factual, scientific and news-based. I am coming to the conclusion that I don’t just want to ‘weave’ my current ideas into that kind of writing, I most likely want to phase it out and move onto something new.
    So my fears are around going from being ‘expert’ at something to being a comparative novice/unheard/unpaid in that area. I think there is some journalling work I can do around this but I would be happy to have any input/stories around effectively ‘rebranding/relaunching’ yourself.

  18. Helen Carmichael on May 4, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    I have written a short blog post particularly around the thinking behind those geraniums here: http://livesofvancouver.wordpress.com/

  19. creativedreamincubator on May 6, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    sorry helen, i missed your coment!

    i think that is a fantastic question.

    my first thought is that it’s not as much if a radical change as a deepening and growth. you are building upon the writing skills you’ve developed, as you open and grow as a person, your work begins to express more depth and heart and so it feels natural that you would move into something more personal and heartfelt.

    in terms of going from expert to beginner… i would think that’s going to trigger any places where you are using the “expert” as kind of a “self-esteem crutch”. you get to discover – who are you without the expert label? the way i see it this can only support you in being your authentic self.

    is there a way to do both styles of writing? does it have to be one of the other? would you feel more comfortable using a pen name for your new work so it wouldn’t be complicated?

  20. Scylliane on May 16, 2010 at 10:18 am

    Lee Ann (I wonder if you’ll see this post), I suggest you to read the book of Mike Robbins : Focus on the good stuff : The power of appreciation. It’s really empowering. Gratitude can leads you far and cheer you up, helping you seeing more clearly what’s already good in your life and being thankful for it.

    Helen : Maybe you could consider explaining what you are an expert on to children in a book. This would lead you to use your creativity, why not drawing yourself the illustrations… and think about all this expert concerns in a fresh way. I wonder what domain it is.

    My personal problem is to go to work again while or after having cut off antidepressor. The matter is I hate teaching to children who don’t listen to me and don’t know about authority. It doesn’t come to me, and I’ve been trying to teach math for 5 years. It’s all the more frustrating than some pupils like me and would like a better atmosphere to work as noise, noise, noise. I’m fed up with that. I’m considering learning everything I can to be enrolled in the library section of education. But it’s a long way.

  21. Helen on May 27, 2010 at 11:52 am

    Hi Andrea – took a while to come back to this post but it was on my mind :)
    Yes you are right in that the skills (writing) are similar but the deeper and more personal material or approach is increasingly important. I do hear you on the self-esteem link. I think it took me a very VERY long time to recognise that I was actually quite good at my profession – in fact only when I started to teach it and realised how much I could share. In fact I have to tell myself/remind myself this often as doubts seem to be part of my approach. I guess it sometimes seems challenging putting yourself out there even if you are established…
    You are absolutely right that it doesn’t have to be one or the other. I could and am doing both already to some extent. I’m not sure this is where I want to be longer term but it is a good step.

    Scylliane – thanks for your comments. I actually think children are a really hard audience to write for :-) Definitely food for thought though.

  22. creativedreamincubator on May 28, 2010 at 6:20 am

    scylliane i wonder if there are ways to move into the library sooner? going off the medication is already a big thing to deal with, so trying to lessen stress in other aspects of your life would probably be helpful.

    helen, what part of putting yourself out there is a challenge? it could be the vulnerability or the fear of failure or the fear of success, or not believing enough in your own creative genius… if you can identify what it is for you, then you can work with it and putting yourself out there gets easier.

  23. creativedreamincubator on May 28, 2010 at 6:30 am

    another thing that just came to me helen – you are the only world expert at expressing helen’s creative genius.

    that desire in you that wants to do this is coming from such an important deep heart part of you. it’s important to listen to it and also to remember that that desire to express doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with a desire to fit in with the outside world – in terms of gaining recognition or generating income. maybe if you can let go of those aspects of it and express the beauty in your just to express the beauty in you, you will find the inspiration and motivation to keep doing it. and often when we let go of external outcomes like recognition and financial success is when they actually start to come to us instead of us having to work so hard to get to them.

  24. Helen on May 28, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    Thanks for the reply Andrea I really appreciate it.

    Where is the challenge: I think there is a fear of self-promotion in there.
    and your comment about my own unique flavour of creativity – maybe when I articulate better for myself what that IS then I will find ways of describing it so that others would get it or appreciate it.
    I realise the writing I am known for is entirely about other people and businesses. This has been a way of sidestepping the issue of what I myself have to offer directly, perhaps.

  25. creativedreamincubator on May 28, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    i’m so glad you got danielle laporte’s fire starter sessions! she’s got some great stuff on self promotion. that seems like a tricky one for almost everyone but it gets more comfortable in time and it gets more comfortable the more you appreciate and value your unique expression.

    it seems like all you need is some more time to play around with all of this – how exciting is that?! i’m really looking forward to seeing more of your unique flavour of creativity.

    it could be that talking about others and being a cheerleader in that kind of way is your unique way of expressing. though if that was the case you probably wouldn’t be feeling inspired to do something different.

  26. Helen on May 28, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    Thanks Andrea :-)

    I think I chose that path because I used to be more comfortable talking about other people than about myself. This has changed! (Although I do still get excited by what others are doing).

    In retrospect I think I have had a bit of a breakthrough today: I now realise a time when I was making these big career choices was a time I put myself out there in many ways – creative and otherwise. I got crushed in various relationships for ‘being myself’ around that time and it affected me a lot. I also experienced failures in a big way for the first time, too. I think back then it seemed a much safer choice not to share my own personal vision and unique way of creating and being. I lost my creative mojo and moved into avoidance. I have totally grown past that now but I can see very clearly that those early experiences had an impact on my willingness to share and the risks – they feel bigger perhaps than they really are for me today.

  27. creativedreamincubator on May 28, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    what an amazing realization! how wonderful is it to realize that those things are not so big anymore! this leaves you so free to move forward!

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